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"Lombards, not as fubjects, but as equals and com"panions; which faid cuftom continuing, and the popes. entring into alliance fometimes with the Lombards, "and fometimes with the Greeks, contracted great re"putation to their dignity. But the deftruction of the "eaftern empire following fo close under the reign of "the emperor Heracleus, -the pope loft the conve"nience of the emperor's protection in time of adver'fity, and the power of the Lombards increafing too "faft on the other fide, he thought it but neceffary to "address himself to the king of France for affiftance."Gregory the third being created pope, and Aiftolfus king of the Lombards, Aiftolfus contrary to league "and agreement feifed upon Ravenna, and made war "upon the pope. Gregory not daring (for the reafons "abovefaid) to depend upon the weakncis of the empire, or the fidelity of the Lombards, (whom he had already found falfe) applied himself to Pepin-for re"lief against the Lombards. Pepin returned anfwer, "that he would be ready to affift him, but he defired "firft to have the honor to fee him, and pay his per"fonal refpects. Upon which invitation pope Gregory "went into France, paffing thorough the Lombards quarters without any interruption, fo great reverence they hare to religion in thofe days. Being arrived and honorably received in France, he was after fome time "difmiffed with an army into Italy; which having befieged Pavia, and reduced the Lombards to diftrefs, "Aiftolfus was conftrained to certain terms of agree"ment with the French, which were obtained by the "interceffion of the pope.-Among the reft of the ar"ticles of that treaty it was agreed, that Aiftolfus "fhould restore all the lands he had ufurped from the "church. But when the French army was returned "into France, Aiftolfus forgot his engagement, which put the pope upon a fecond application to king Pepin, "who fupplied him again, fent a new army into Italy, overcame the Lombards, and poffeffed himself of Ravenna, and (contrary to the defire of the Grecian emperor) gave it to the pope, with all the lands under "that exarchate.-In the interim Aiftolfus died, and
"Defiderio a Lombard, and duke of Tufcany, taking
up arms to fucceed him, begged affiftance of the pope, with promife of perpetual amity for the future. "At first Defiderio was very punctual,-delivered up "the towns as he took them to the pope, according to his engagement to king Pepin; nor was there any "exarch fent afterwards from Conftantinople to Ravenna, but all was arbitrary, and managed according "to the pleasure of the pope. Not long after Pepin "died, and Charles his fon fucceeded in the govern"ment, who was called the great from the greatness of "his exploits. About the fame time Theodore the "firft was advanced to the papacy, and falling out with "Defiderio was befieged by him in Rome. In his "exigence the pope had recourfe to the king of France, (as his predeceffor had done before him) and Charles "not only fupplied him with an army, but marching
over the Alps at the head of it himself, he befieged "Defiderio in Pavia, took him and his fon in it, fent "them both prifoners into France, and went in perfon "to Rome to vifit the pope, where he adjudged and "determined, that his Holinefs being God's vicar, could "not be fubject to the judgment of men. For which the pope and people together declared him emperor, and "Rome began again to have an emperor of the weft: “and whereas formerly the popes were confirmed by the emperors, the emperor now in his election was to be "beholden to the pope; by which means the power and dignity of the empire declined, and the church began "to advance, and by these steps to ufurp upon the "authority of temporal princes."
In this manner the emperor of Rome, or he who letteth, was taken out of the way, and the bishop of Rome was advanced in his ftead. In the fame proportion as the power of the empire decreafed, the authority of the church increased, the latter at the expenfe and ruin of the former; till at length the pope grew up above all, and avopos the wicked one was fully manifefted and recealed, or the lawless one as he may be called; for the pope (2) is declared again and again not to be bound
(2) See Bishop Jewel's Apology and Defense, p. 313, 314, 430, &c.
by any law of God or man. His coming is after the energy of Satan, with all power, and figns, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness: and doth it require any particular proof, or is it not too generally known, that the pretenfions of the pope, and the corruptions of the church of Rome are all fupported and authorized by feigned vifions and miracles, by pious frauds and impostures of every kind? Bellarmin reckons (3) the glory of miracles as the eleventh note of the catholic church, but the apostle affigns them as a distinguishing mark and character of the man of fin. The church of Rome pretends to miracles, Mohammed difclaims them; and this is one very good reason, why the man of fin is the Pope rather than the Turk. There hath been printed at London, forlately as in the year 1756, a book intitled The miraculous power of the church of Chrift afferted through each fucceffive century from the apostles down to the prefent time: and from thence the author draweth the conclufion, that the catholic church is the true church of Chrift. They must certainly not receive the love of the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness, who can believe fuch fabulous and ridiculous legends, who hold it a mortal fin but to doubt of any article of their religion, who deny the free exercife of private judgment, who take away the free ufe of the holy fcriptures, and fo fhut up the kingdom of heaven against men neither going in themfelves, neither fuffering them, who were entring, to go in. If they will ftill maintain their miracles to be true, yet they are no proof of the true church, but rather of the contrary. They are the miracles here predicted, and if they were really wrought, were wrought in favor of falfehood: and indeed it is a proper retaliation, that God in his judgments fhould fend men ftrong delufion that they should believe a lie, who received not the love of the truth that they might be faced; a proper retaliation, that he fhould fuffer fome real miracles to be wrought, to deceive those, who have counterfeited fo many miracles to deceive
(3) Undecima nota eft gloria miraculorum. Bellar. de Notis ecclefiæ. Lib. 4. Cap. 14.
But how much foever the man of fin may be exalted, and how long foever he may reign, yet at last the Lord fhall confume him with the spirit of his mouth, and fhall deStroy him with the brightness of his coming. This is partly taken from the prophet Ifaiah, (XI. 4.) and with the breath of his lips fhall he flay the wicked one: where the Jews, as Lightfoot (4) obferves, "put an emphafis "upon that word in the prophet the wicked one, as it
appeareth by the Chaldee paraphraft, who hath ut"tered it He fhall deftroy the wicked Roman." If the two claufes, as it was faid before, relate to two different events, the meaning manifeftly is, that the Lord Jefus fhall gradually confume him with the free preaching of his gofpel, and fhall utterly deftroy him at his fecond coming in the glory of his Father. The former began to take effect at the Reformation, and the latter will be accomplished in God's appointed time. The man of fin is now upon the decline, and he will be totally abolished, when Chrift fhall come in judgment. The kingdom of falfehood and fin fhall end, and the reign of truth and virtue fhall fucceed. Great is the truth, and will at last prevail.
The man of fin then is the fame arbitrary and wicked power that is defcribed by Daniel under the characters of the little horn and the mighty king. In St. Paul he is revealed, when the Roman empire is taken out of the way; and in Daniel the Roman empire is firft broken into feveral kingdoms, and he cometh up among them In St. Paul he oppofeth; and in Daniel he doeth according to his will, and weareth out the faints of the most High In St. Paul he exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, fhowing himself that he is God; and in Daniel he exalteth himself and magnifieth himself above every God, and fpeaketh marvellous things against the God of Gods. In St. Paul he is the lawless one; and in Daniel he changeth times and laws. In St. Paul his coming is with all deceivableness of unrighteousness; and in Daniel he practifeth and profpereth, and through his policy caufeth craft to profper in his hand. According to St.
(4) Lightfoot's Works, Vol. 1. p. 296.
Paul the Lord fhall confume him with the spirit of his mouth, and shall deftroy him with the brightness of his coming; and according to Daniel a fiery stream fhall iffue and come forth from the judge, and his body shall be given to the burning flame, and they shall take away his dominion, to confume and to deftroy it unto the end. The characters and circumftances are fo much the fame, that they muft belong to one and the fame perfön.
The tyrannical power thus defcribed by Daniel and St. Paul, and afterwards by St. John, is both by ancients and moderns generally denominated Antichrift: and the name is proper and expreffive enough, as it may fignify (5) both the enemy of Chrift, and the vicar of Chrift and no one is more the enemy of Chrift than he who arrogates his name and power, as no one more directly oppofes the king than he who affuunes his title and authority. The name began to prevail in St. John's time. For he addreffeth himself to the Chriftians as having heard of the coming of Antichrift, and calleth the heretics of his time by the fame common name: (1 Ep. II. 18, 22.) As ye have heard that the Antichrift fhall come, even now are there many Antichrifts: l'ho is a lier but he that denieth that Jefus is the Chrift? he is the Antichrift that denieth the Father and the Son. As St. Paul hath faid, The mystery of iniquity doth already work: fo St. John fpeaketh of the fpirit of Antichrift as then in the world; (IV. 3.) This is that Spirit of Antichrift, whereof you have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world. Afterwards (2 Ep. 7, 8.) he ftileth him emphatically the deceiver and the Antich ft, and warneth the Chriftians to look to themjelves. The fathers too speak of Antichrift and of the man of fin as one and the fame perfon; and give much the faine interpretation that hath here been given of the whole paffage only it is not to be fuppofed, that they who wrote before the events, could be fo very exact in the application of each particular, as those who have the advantage of writing after the events, and of comparing the prophecy and completion together.
(5) Arti fignifies pro. vice, loco, verfo; and avriCache; is prorex, as well as contra, e regione, ex ad- avburatos proconful.